CEDAR CITY, Utah — The scheduled forecast looks fantastic, but will the football follow suit?
Temperatures are expected to push the mid-50s when the Montana Grizzlies and Southern Utah Thunderbirds hit the field at Eccles Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Each team has seen its share of struggles this fall and it’s uncertain how each will perform on Saturday.
Southern Utah was the Big Sky Conference co-champion in 2017, sharing the title with Weber State and advancing to the FCS playoffs. This fall has been a disaster in comparison, with the Thunderbirds entering the weekend 1-7 and on a two-game losing streak.
Montana, meanwhile, is riding its first three-game losing streak since 1992, the latest loss a 49-21 defeat against UC Davis where the Griz blew a 21-3 halftime lead. Conference championship hopes and playoff aspirations have all but disappeared around UM, but players mentioned the old idiom, there’s no time like the present.
“I think everyone has that mindset,” said Montana defensive lineman Reggie Tilleman. “No one wants to say, ‘Oh well, good season guys. Let’s pack it in,’ right? It’s one game at a time. It’s a one-game season right now. For us, we have to come out and beat Southern Utah and then move on to whoever we have next.”
“Just get back to the roots. It starts off with hitting a throw or getting a (big) run,” added quarterback Dalton Sneed. “I wish there was a definite answer for you, but there’s really not for getting that spark. It’s just clicking how you did in the first half (of last weekend’s game against UC Davis) and executing throws and runs how you were.”
Montana and Southern Utah kick off at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Eccles Coliseum.